LATELY — 3 December 1999

A Review of Talk by Someone Who Hasn't Read It

And now, a review of Tina Brown’s new mag­a­zine Talk by someone who hasn’t read it:

The problem with Talk is that its binding sucks. It’s one big magazine, larger than letter (or A4) size, and almost 250 pages long. But it’s held to­gether with staples. Staples! Staples are com­pletely in­ad­e­quate for a mag­a­zine of this heft!

Most mag­a­zines do their utmost to stand tall and proud when dis­played in a mag­a­zine rack. But not Talk, no not Talk. Talk slouches, its back bent and corners crumpled–a mag­a­zine that doesn’t want to be touched, let alone read. I want a mag­a­zine that’s proud of its appearance, dammit, not some lousy lay-about.

The New Yorker (Tina Brown’s last magazine) was a beau­ti­ful thing–refined, elegant. I always laid it flat on a desk to read, and turned the pages carefully, even though I was usually reading a library copy. Talk, on the other hand, does nothing to inspire this sort of respect.

And so I don’t buy it.